Today I wanted to take a few moments to explain something that is incredibly important to me. It is International Badge Day for millions of sorority women across the globe, and I would love to explain to you just what it is and why it is important to me. I am very familiar with the large numbers of people who dismiss Greek Life Organisations as pointless and a waste of time and money, but I believe that they might not have the full picture. Let me take a couple of minutes and explain to you why Alpha Gamma Delta means so much to me!
For anyone not familar, Greek Life Organisations and semi-secret social organisations. That means that we can tell you that we are members and what positions we hold, but that we have private rituals that we cannot share. I promise that this rituals are beautiful ceremonies and not anything sinister or dramatic. They are simply a ceremony from our founders that explain why we are joined together. Most sororities have similar focuses, Alpha Gamma Delta has five pillars: Sisterhood, Leadership, Social, Scholarship, and Philanthropy. They are equally important to us, and one does not take precedence over the other. I joined for the tradition and rituals, and to join a group of women who were also focused on their studies. I’ll be honest- I was one of the nerdier members. I joined in my third year when I was well entrenched in my Honours History degree with an Honour Thesis and seminars already keeping me busy.
Yes, there are members that drink and party. I think that it partially depends on the school and the specific members of the chapter at the time. I wasn’t particularly interested in the social aspect, but I attended the requisite number of events. It bothers me that so many members of Greek Life Organisations don’t take the time to think that wild partying reflects on us all, and that while they might not want to be known as “nerdy”, many of us don’t want to be known as “wild”. Still, there are countless college students who frequently drink, from clubs, majors, sports teams, whatever grouping you name. It’s not specific to Greeks.
I also joined for lifelong sisterhood and bonds. You typically don’t see many 30 year old sorority alum getting hammered and out of control- we usually get together for dinners or book clubs or charity runs or philanthropy events. I would love to see this promoted more. How many NPC sororities’ Facebook pages and Twitter feeds are filled with the accomplishments of collegiate/university chapters with alumnae in the background?
Firstly, we all need more alumnae involvement. You may very well have worked with or known a sorority alumna (yes, even you living outside of the US and Canada!) without knowing- so many members forget that they ever joined after they graduate. I believe that all 26 NPC sororities need work on alumnae involvement and stressing during the recruitment process that you don’t just disappear after you graduate. Secondly, we need collegiates to realise it’s not all about them! In the case of Alpha Gamma Delta, I believe we have in the neighbourhood of 100,000+ living members- only 13,000 of them are in university. We alumnae are the large majority but are often left to trail behind.
I am the President of our Junior Circle young alumnae group here. We are currently planning the International Reunion Day for all Alpha Gamma Deltas in Winnipeg, we are getting ready for philanthropy drive for women’s hygiene products, and we meet twice monthly to get brunch or dinner and try different activities. We all have busy and complicated lives but still manage to maintain those friendships and bonds. Yes, some people are more involved than others, but they are still there for everyone.
I know that if I needed something from Shoppers Drug Mart at 10pm and couldn’t get it because I was deathly ill, one of them would get it and bring it to me. I know that when I’m having a terrible day, I can rant to them and I will have a sympathetic ear that will still tell me if I’m being ridiculous. I know that if I need help planning a new event that they will help and share their experience with me. It goes beyond normal friendship- it is a bond based on an oath we took. It is meaningful and important to me, and I believe that my confidence and accomplishments are due in part to the support and encouragement I receive from my Alpha Gamma Delta sisters.
Alpha Gamma Delta has made an enormous impact on my life- our founders wrote our Purpose, a roadmap to life. We strive to always be our best selves, and be better for those around us. It holds you to a higher personal standard and pushes you to do more. Today, I am proudly wearing my Alpha Gamma Delta badge!
Please feel free to ask any questions you might have, I understand it’s a foreign topic for a lot of people!